Application Benchmarks: Media Encoding
We begin our media encoding benchmarks with Lame and iTunes:
Both of these benchmarks seem to favor clock rate over threading optimizations or cache, as performance is directly related to clock rate, regardless of other factors. With a mere 100 MHz between them, the Athlon II X3 435 and Phenom II X3 720 demonstrate almost identical results, while the overclocked 435 walks away with the win. The Athlon II X4's quad-core CPU isn't helping here. In fact, its low clock gives it the slowest performance in these two non-threaded benchmark tests. The Athlon II X2 and Phenom II X2 CPUs exploit their high clock speeds for a win here.
TMPGEnc, known for its ability to utilize multiple cores, demonstrates opposite results: when the DivX codec is used, multiple threads are taken advantage of and the Athlon II X4 shows the best stock performance. The Xvid codec doesn't appear to employ multiple threads however, and the best performance comes from high clock speed alone. This is where the Athlon II X2 and Phenom II X2 show their stuff.
MainConcept Reference also shows off its multi-threaded encoder, with the Athlon II X4 garnering a win among the stock models. Not surprisingly, the overclocked Athlon II X3 435 boasts the best result when we run outside of specifications.